Hoda Kotb is back on NBC. The Today anchor spent her first day back at work Tuesday morning after welcoming her and boyfriend Joel Schiffman's second daughter, Hope, in April. Kotb joined her co-anchors Savannah Guthrie, Carson Daly, Al Roker and Dylan Dreyer back in the studio following her maternity leave.
Kotb, 55, shared several Instagram messages celebrating her first day back at work, writing that it felt like "Christmas morning." In one post that consisted of a few photos from set, she wrote, "I don't deserve this much love. Thank you xx."
Not only did her co-stars welcome her back with open arms, several of Kotb's famous friends sent their well wishes as well via video, including Julia Roberts, Thomas Rhett, Meghan Trainor, Carrie Underwood and even New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
An extra-special message came from Kotb's new 10 a.m. hour co-host Jenna Bush Hager, who is on her own maternity leave after welcoming her third child, son Henry "Hal" Harold.
"Welcome back, Hoda. I'm so glad you got this summer with your babes and your family," Bush Hager, 37, said in the video. Kotb adopted Hope in April, joining 2-and-a-half-year-old big sister Haley Joy.
"Bu enow you're back to your other family and you were so, so missed. Welcome home," Bush Hager concluded.
During Tuesday's broadcast, Kotb told Guthrie, Roker and Daly about how she felt coming back to work.
"I was thinking about it when I was sitting with Haley last night... I've had the best five months I could have ever imagined my life. I didn't know what i was missing. And I was also excited to come back," she began.
"I'm 55 and I get to be with them. I know it was a lot of time to take off, and I felt a little bad about it, but in reality, life is a blink. And you get this moment and so I decided that I was gonna take it. And when I'm at work, I'm gonna be 100 percent here," she continued. "But I have to say, those kids have taught me so much. Like Haley introduced me to an escalator; I didn't even know it was awesome until she said, 'Look Mama, the stairs are going up! I was like, 'Oh wow! That IS awesome!' Or she walks up to a stranger on the street and goes, 'I have pockets!' I was like, 'She has pockets!'"0comments
"It's the smallest, tiniest, littlest things, and it just reminded me, just sit in it a little bit if you can."
"But I'm happy to be here. I have to tell you, walking in the door this morning made me feel so good and seeing your [Guthrie's] face in the makeup room and seeing your face, Al, and you, Carson, it just filled me up," Kotb said. "Who's luckier than me?"